Rolling Stone (6/2/94, p.69) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS outlines the life of a woman who grew up wanting to be a boy, then discovered she could bear children and nurture them without jettisoning some rock & roll requisites...what really sticks are the album's moments of pure pop joy..."
Alternative Press (8/94, p.90) - "...Hynde actually sounds like she means it again. Up there with Costello's BRUTAL YOUTH--artistic rejuvenation of the year..."
Musician (6/94, p.79) - "...Atop musical settings ranging from pop to funk to rockabilly, Hynde outswaggers all comers, from Anais Nin to Camille Paglia to Thelma and Louise, with her tough-to-tender switchbacks...an inspired, combo-punching return to her inimitable peak form...."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/95, p.51) - Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994" - "Ballsy rock-chick attitude, sturdy four-square rock-outs and big, anthemic ballads..."
The Pretenders: Chrissie Hynde (vocals, guitar); Adam Seymour (guitar); Andy Hobson (bass); Martin Chambers (drums).
Additional personnel: Tom Kelly (guitar, piano, bass); Robbie McIntosh (guitar); Ian Stanley (organ, keyboards); Andy Rourke, David Paton (bass); J.F.T. Hood, Jimmy Copley (drums); London Gospel Community Choir.
Producers: Ian Stanley, Stephen Street, Chris Thomas.
Recorded at The Woolhall, Bath, England; Sarm Studio West and The Townhouse Studio, London, England.
"I'll Stand By You" was nominated for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Audio Mixer: Tony Phillips.
Recording information: Sarm Studio West, London; The Townhouse, London; The Woolhall, Bath.
Photographer: Jill Furmanovsky.
LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS is a transitional album, and as such, is something of a mixed bag. It is here that Hynde began working with guitarist Adam Seymour (who has now been with the band longer than any member save drummer Martin Chambers). The collaboration wouldn't really bear fruit until later however.
Hailed in some quarters as a return to form, LAST OF THE INDEPENDENTS, has at least one major clinker -- "I'll Stand By You," the rather trite power ballad that means to be the album's centerpiece. Still, there's much here to admire if not exactly die for, from the out-of-left-field Presley impression Hynde manages on "Rebel Rock Me" to the seems-like-old-times early 80s swagger of "Night in My Veins" to a beautiful cover of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young." And only Hynde could pull off the autobiographical combo of sex and blood that's "I'm a Mother."